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AMGEN Tour of California

Feb. 14-22

Host Cities: Host cities for the Prologue and eight stages include: Sacramento, Davis (new city for 2009), Santa Rosa (site of the Women's Criterium), Sausalito, Santa Cruz (new city for 2009), San Jose, Modesto, Merced (new city for 2009), Clovis (new city for 2009), Visalia (new city for 2009), Paso Robles (new city for 2009), Solvang, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, Rancho Bernardo (new city for 2009) and Escondido (new city for 2009).

Stage 3: San Jose to Modesto

Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Start time: noon

Start location: Intersection of San Fernando Street and Almaden Boulevard in San Jose

Finish location:Beginning with a climb that is synonymous with cycling and the Amgen Tour of California, the cyclists will head up Sierra Road (1,930 feet) within the first five miles of the stage. This epic climb will be a defining moment in the race and will create an action-packed day of racing for the cyclists and the fans alike. After completing the Sierra Road climb, the riders will face fast and flat roads full of twists and turns (Calaveras Road alone has more than 40 switchbacks) before climbing Patterson Pass. The stage will finish with two circuits in downtown Modesto.

Stage 4: Merced to Clovis

Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Start time: 11 a.m.

Start location: City Hall at the intersection of N Street and 18th Street in Merced

Finish location: Intersection of Bullard Avenue and Pollasky Avenue in Clovis.

Skinny: Stage 4 will introduce two new host cities and the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Amgen Tour of California. With four KOMs ("King of the Mountain" competitions) and several sprints, Stage 4 will be a test for the riders with consistently hilly and technical terrain. From the start in Merced to the finish in Clovis, this stage will be characterized by consistent climbing surrounded by the beautiful mountain scenery. Fans can watch the climbs, always a spectator favorite, at any of the four locations -- Highway 140, twice on Highway 49 and Crane Valley Road. Coming to a finish in Old Town Clovis, this stage will introduce the beauty of Central California to the Amgen Tour of California.

Stage 5: Visalia to Paso Robles

Date: Thursday, February 19, 2009

Start time: 10 a.m.

Start location: Intersection of Aceqia Avenue and Church Street in Visalia

Finish location: Intersection of Spring Street and 11th Street in Paso Robles

Skinny: At more than 130 miles, Stage 5, sponsored by Rabobank, is the longest stage of the race. For the first 100 miles of the stage, the riders will have virtually no protection from the wind.

Stage 6: Solvang Individual Time Trial

Date: Friday, February 20, 2009

Start time: noon

Start location: Intersection of Mission Drive and 1st Street

Finish location: Copenhagen Drive

Skinny: The quaint Danish village of Solvang hosts some of the ProTour teams annually for training camps, as well as some of the largest cycling events in the United States. With the start and finish lines located only one block apart, Stage 6 is an ideal location for spectators to view the race.

Stage 7: Santa Clarita to Pasadena

Date: Saturday, February 21, 2009

Start time: noon

Start location: Town Center Drive in Santa Clarita

Finish location: West Drive, alongside the Rose Bowl in Pasadena

Skinny: The race from Santa Clarita to Pasadena proved to be a difficult one during the final stage of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California, and this year will be no different. The first 25 miles of Stage 7, sponsored by Herbalife, include a gradual climb from Santa Clarita, through Acton, to the intersection of Angeles Forest Road.

Stage 8: Rancho Bernardo to Escondido

Date: Sunday, February 22, 2009

Start time: noon

Start location: Bernardo Center Drive in Rancho Bernardo

Finish location: Intersection of Grand Avenue and Broadway in Escondido

Skinny: With four climbs, including the highest point ever reached in the Amgen Tour of California, and two sprints, Stage 8, sponsored by Amgen, can easily be characterized as the most difficult final stage that the Amgen Tour of California has ever seen. The cyclists will have to fight through the very end of the race, due to the addition of Palomar Mountain (5,123 feet).

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